Define the term “Management” and discuss what managers do.
After the raise of competitors in the market, managers are no longer just responsible on selling their products. Now they have to acquire certain skills, knowledge and excellent decision- making in order to ultimately increase the companies' profits. In this essay, we are going to discuss on what are managers and what do they do in a company based on the roles and functions. According to Schermerhorn (2008, p.13), he define managers as “a person who supports and responsible for the works of others”, while Robbins, Millett and Marsh (2004, p.4) believes that managers “are individuals who uses other people in order to accomplish their goals”. As you can see, the term manager is not limited into one definition but many; however there is a similarity between both of those definitions. These definitions show one important aspect, which is how important the employees are to managers. Managers are unable to accomplish most of his task without the cooperation of his/her subordinates.
There are many responsibility and duties of being a manager. Basically what a manager does is separated into four functions, planning, organising, leading and controlling. All four of this function is what makes managers so important in an organisation. According to George and Jones (2005, p.375), he defines leading as “an exercise of influence by one member of an organisation over other members to help the group to achieve its goal”. A good leader should always be able take risk and make quick decisions. One good example of an excellent leader would be Rick Waggoner, ex CEO and chairman of general motors. In 2005, General Motors was facing a loss due to the drop of revenue. Waggoner came up a solution to increase their profit but instead of just issuing those orders he just state a question to his employees on whether they are able to accomplish it (Brown, 2005). By doing this, he was able to motivate his employees to think, take risk and to face challenges which help employees to improve themselves.
Another important function that manager does is planning. Planning is a vital step in any organisation. Planning helps the organisation to set priorities to focus on what is important (Willis, 2006). According to Schermerhorn (2008, p.184), he explains planning as “a process of setting objectives and determining how to accomplish them”. One good example would be the planning style between Toyota and General Motors. Even though General Motors started much earlier, they are still unable to beat Toyota. This is because Generals motors concentrate too much wasteful resource on creating huge SUV and pick-up trucks, while Toyota concentrates on the technological side of the vehicle. Moreover, Generals Motors also made a mistake of thinking that customers would always come to them when they should have been going to the customers instead, just like Toyota (Welch, 2009). As you can see from the example above, Toyota has a stronger planning strategy compare to General Motors which leads to higher profit.
Besides having to follow the four management function, a manager also performs these few important managerial roles. The roles are interpersonal, informational and decisional. Under interpersonal role, it is divided into three sections which are being a figurehead, leader and liaison. A figurehead can be define as a “symbolic head; required to perform a number of routine duties of a legal or social nature” (Robbins, Millett and Marsh, 2004, p.8). A manager should always be a figurehead because they are the one who would represent their company in any meetings, ceremonies or conference. Tony Fernandes is a good example of a figurehead, whenever there is an important event that involves his company, he will be there representing his company and because of this whenever you think about Tony Fernandes, you will think about Air Asia.
Monitor, disseminator and spokesperson plays an important part when it comes to informational roles. Monitoring can be defined as “observing the environment changes to see if an important trend is emerging among those spotted” (Ireland, Hoskisson and Hitt, 2009, p.38). The world is changing everyday and managers have to keep themselves up-to-date in order to keep up with all of these changes. Stuff like hearing small talk in a dinner meeting about their competitor or learning through casual conversation in a party are a few examples on gathering information in a monitor role (Hahn, 2007).
The last managerial role would be decisional role and it is divided in to four segments, entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator and negotiator. As suggested by Robbins et al. (2004, p. 8) they define entrepreneur as “searching organisation and its environment for opportunities and initiates project to bring about change”. As the business world becomes more competitive, managers are expected to come up with new ideas for improvement in order for their product to stand out from the rest of the competitors. One excellent example would the sales between Coca-cola and Pepsi. Both of these companies sells almost identical product which is ‘cola' but yet Coca-cola seems to be beating Pepsi. The reason is because according to research they found out that people who drinks Coca-cola tends to remind customers about their past pleasant childhood experience. Pleasant memory like for example, buying a can of coke when they are young in any convenient store to cool off. These pleasant memories from their childhood are constantly reminded everytime they drink coke (Martin, 2005). This is the reason why customers prefer Coke not because of the taste or the design of the can but what the product meant to them. This shows that the managers of Coca-cola have become excellent entrepreneur. They manage to find ways to appeal to younger generation so that as they grow older, Coca-cola won't just be another can of soft drink to them.
As our world is shifting into a more technological era, managers are now required to keep themselves up-to-date with all the trends of the world. For example some companies no longer uses pen and paper to record sales but uses computer to do so. Therefore managers especially the older generations are required to keep them self updated by going through training or reading more books on it in order for them to keep up with the changers of the world.
In conclusion we can see that managers have many important roles and function in any organization. Managers have to plan, lead, organise and control in order to help companies increase their profits. Moreover we have also seen that managers play a role as a figurehead, a monitor and also an entrepreneur in order for any company to succeed. Lastly, we also establish how technology has affected the roles of managers today.
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